Chapter 24

Bess awoke, feeling sea sick. She stared at Captain McIntyre, who was sleeping peacefully next to her. She caressed his cheek, but suddenly pulled away. She wasn't supposed to love him; this man had killed her mother. Bess bit her lip, drawing blood.

She had mixed feelings for McIntyre. She hated him for being a rude, no-respect for women, evil bastard. But she found herself falling in love with him.

Bess touched her stomach, feeling the child that was growing inside of her. She smiled. All that mattered was her child. She didn't want it growing up in a war torn colony like the one she lived in right now. For a long time she had been thinking of running away. She wanted to do that for her and her child.

"Bess," the captain said, realizing that the captain sounded like he was ill. "Bess, can you go downstairs and fetch me some water?"

"Alright," Bess said. She walked down slowly, stopping next to Benjamin's room.

She came back up with water for McIntyre.

"I'm going out," Bess said. Captain McIntyre merely nodded as Bess tightened up her corset. She walked to Benjamin's door and opened it slowly and carefully.

Benjamin was asleep, groaning in pain. His left leg was over the covers, revealing a bare leg with messily tied bandages. Bess whispered his name quietly. He awoke. His blue eyes were bloodshot and his face was drenched in sweat. He sat upright, sighing with relief as he saw Bess.

"Benjamin," she said, smiling. "Are you feeling better?"

"No, why are you here?" Benjamin groaned. Bess scowled. "I'm sorry, Bess, I just feel bad. Come here, darling." He outstretched his arms and Bess sat next to him. He held her tightly.

"Don't," Bess said. "I already know you don't love me. You don't have to pretend."

"Bess!" Benjamin screamed. "I do love you! You don't understand, do you? I was shocked that day!"

"Of course you were. Do you expect me to believe that, Benjamin? Do you really?" Bess got off the bed, sighing. Tears ran down her eyes as she left the room. Bess ran out of the house, leaving a trail of tears behind.

She gathered her skirts and walked to her father's small house. She needed to see him, to tell him he was having a grandchild. She knocked on the door quietly. Mr. di Cordero opened the door, staring at his daughter.

"Papa," she said, running into his arms. She began sobbing as her father comforted her. He hugged her back, suddenly remembering the day his wife died. Bess had run into his arms, sobbing. She told him what had happened. Mr. di Cordero had become drunk that day while Bess hid behind the bookcase and bawled her eyes out.

"Why are you so sad, dear?" Mr. di Cordero said, leading her into the house. Bess frowned. She stared at her father for a moment, before touching her stomach again.

"Papa," she began, forcing a small smile. "Papa, I'm having a child." Mr. di Cordero stared at Bess, his mouth curling up into a small smile.

"Are you happy, Bess?" he asked. "Is the captain treating you right?" Bess merely nodded. She went into her old room. She saw the portrait of her mother hanging there. She began sobbing. She sobbed because Benjamin didn't love her.

"I have to be strong," Bess said out loud. She was spending the night at her father's. She was glad his condition had improved. He seemed to have been drinking less. Bess took a bite out of her meat and bit into her apple.

"Do you like it?" Mr. di Cordero asked, smiling at his sad daughter. Bess smiled and nodded. Bess wanted to tell her father about Benjamin. About everything. Bess felt a pang of sadness in her stomach. She had to get over Benjamin.